RGB vs CMYK as a tool for B2B brand differentiation

Brand and Branding

In a post Covid world, is it time we chose brand colour for the digital age rather than lead with a print experience?

When choosing brand colours from scratch, it’s always been considered best practice to use a palette that’s consistent across digital and print.

Creatives around the globe have always chosen a Pantone colour (universal palette) before using the RGB (digital palette) equivalent but long gone are the days where a customer only interacts with a brand offline.  Although the RGB colour gamut is the largest colour spectrum, every experienced designer will tell you that you shouldn’t start with the largest palette (RGB); start with the smallest (Pantone).

 

B2B differentiation with brand colour

 

In the B2B world of Telecoms and Technology the first and most regular experience of a brand is very likely to be online. This has never been truer than in the 2020 pandemic world.  In an age where differentiation is key and harder than ever, perhaps we shouldn’t be seeking consistent colours? Instead, we should be considering the best colour for the medium. 

 

What’s the difference between RGB and CMYK?

As you may know, every TV, phone and computer screen uses a combination of red, green and yellow pixels to display images. Printing processes, on the other hand, typically use a different selection of hues; cyan, magenta and yellow, as well as ‘key’, otherwise known as black.

Issues can arise when RGB designs need to be converted to CMYK colours because, as you can see from the diagram above, CMYK doesn’t have the same variety of shades that RGB can produce. This can cause issues when brochures that were designed in RGB colours need to be converted to CMYK, when sending to a printing company for example, and the end result’s printed colours don’t match the original digital design.

Any graphic designer worth their salt will already factor this in when designing in RGB. But, if colours (brand colours especially) are originally agreed upon from an RGB palette, there’s no guarantee those same shades will be viable for CMYK printing. Therefore, many will choose from the reduced options of a CMYK colour profile, before adapting back to RGB for their ‘digital colour palette’.

In recent years, every time I ask a new customer “what mediums do you use ?”… print is the underdog.

All of this brings up an interesting question. What if your business is choosing new colours for brand based on print when you really want to use the kinds of bright, saturated and punchy colours that are only available digitally?

Blabbermouth Marketing is leading the way…

As a B2B design and brand agency, we’re often choosing brand colours that lend themselves to being consistent. More recently we challenged the status quo for a predominantly digital client. We haven’t looked back!

B2B differentiation with brand colour B2B differentiation with brand colour

Challenging the colour status quo 

It’s our job as creatives to challenge the status quo and always ask experiential questions during a brand review. With more businesses being largely consumed online, it’s interesting to see the effects of a post Covid digital world. Much like many other industries and schools of thought; brand identity best practice is changing.

At some point every business is going to need to refresh its brand. Maybe your existing branding is out of date or you want to re-brand to reach out to a different target audience? Or is it that you are simply not getting the results you want with your current marketing?

Our tried and tested Brand Workshop process has helped clients like SkyWavenet and ACS create brands that form a shared and strongly differentiated vision with an actionable framework.

Laura Kerrigan

Laura Kerrigan

Author

Laura has always been focused on our customers strategic vision and ensuring this is followed through in our execution. She knows how to put the end-user first while delivering key customer objectives. It’s this passion for understanding people that enables her to create the best brand experiences in Telecoms and Technology.

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